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Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
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JUL
15

FUNDING
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One month left to nominate a program for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award!

By Nikki Yamashiro

Does your afterschool program help middle school students develop their reading skills?  Do you volunteer with a program that taps into students’ creativity and piques their interest in writing?  We need your help to find exemplary afterschool programs that are providing strong literacy support to middle schoolers.  Nominate them today for the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award and the chance to win the $10,000 award! 

The nomination period will close on Aug. 15, which leaves one month to submit your nomination and share with us the fantastic work taking place in an afterschool program in your community. 

You can find more detailed instructions for the online nomination form here

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Inside the Afterschool Alliance Literacy
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JUL
8

FUNDING
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New $150,000 award opportunity: The Trust Challenge

By Nikki Yamashiro

The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) and the MacArthur Foundation have announced their fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition—the Trust Challenge: Building Trust in Connected Learning Environments.  The Trust Challenge will award a total of $1.2 million—in $10,000 to $150,000 year-long development grants—to institutions and organizations that look to answer questions around trust, privacy, safety and learning in an open online world.  Proposals will address questions such as:

  • How can learners exercise control over who sees and uses their data?
  • What tools do they need in order to navigate, collaborate and learn online with confidence?
  • What solutions will foster greater civility and respect in online learning environments?
  • How can open technical standards create more opportunities to share and collaborate online in a spirit of trust?

Applications will be accepted Sept. 3 to Nov. 3, 2014.

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learn more about: Digital Learning Funding Opportunity Science Arts
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JUN
30

FUNDING
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New mini-grants are supporting digital badges in five states

By Nikki Yamashiro

Congratulations to the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance, the Maryland Out of School Time NetworkOregonASK, the Michigan After-School Partnership and the Ohio Afterschool Network for being awarded mini-grants of $10,000 to pilot digital badge projects in their states! 

Over the course of the next year, these five statewide afterschool networks will pilot new badge systems to offer digital badges to youth in afterschool and summer programs and/or offer digital badges to afterschool professionals.  

At the Afterschool Alliance, every day we hear stories of the range of activities and learning experiences students participating in afterschool programs are exposed to.  For instance, hands-on activities—such as creating and testing computer simulations of how a disease might spread; learning about health and wellness, as well as environmental science, through the cultivation of a community vegetable garden; and developing leadership skills through group projects that focus on collaboration and effective communication.  We also continuously review research demonstrating the multitude of positive outcomes associated with regular participation in quality afterschool programs. 

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learn more about: Digital Learning Inside the Afterschool Alliance State Networks
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JUN
18

FUNDING
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New report on learning and the Internet emphasizes role of afterschool and informal education

By Erik Peterson

This week the Aspen Institutes Task Force on Learning and the Internet released its much anticipated report, Learner at the Center of a Networked World.  The report and series of recommendations seeks to ensure today’s students are at the center of, and have access to, safe learning inside and outside of the classroom that prepares them for future success. The comprehensive report addresses the serious issues of trust, safety, privacy, digital literacy and accessibility—especially for underserved students. In their recommendations, the task force recommends actions to help all students connect safely and maximize learning experiences online.

The task force—composed of 20 thought leaders with diverse perspectives on learning, innovation and safety, and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation—finalized the report after a year of study, outreach to stakeholders including the afterschool field, public input and internal deliberations. Former Governor of Florida and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) Jeb Bush and Co-Founder of Voto Latino Rosario Dawson served as Honorary Co-Chairs.

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learn more about: Digital Learning Equity Evaluations Youth Development
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JUN
12

FUNDING
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New $10,000 award opportunity: The Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award!

By Nikki Yamashiro

We're thrilled to announce that we have partnered with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to offer the first ever Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award.  We need your help to find exceptional afterschool programs that are providing strong literacy support to middle schoolers—helping them to develop their reading, writing and critical thinking skills.  The winning afterschool program will be awarded $10,000 and recognized at the Afterschool Alliance’s national Afterschool for All Challenge.  

Nominate a program today!  Or, nominate your own program today!  We also encourage afterschool program directors, staff, volunteers and students to nominate their own program.

The Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award is a great opportunity to highlight the critical work taking place outside of the school day to ensure that middle school students have the necessary support and guidance to build the literacy skills that will help them succeed both in and out of school. 

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 15

The online nomination form has more detailed instructions, but feel free to email nyamashiro@afterschoolalliance.org to answer any questions you may have about this process.

Good luck and we look forward to learn more about the valuable work to strengthen students’ literacy skills that is taking place in afterschool programs across the country.

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learn more about: Competition Funding Opportunity Inside the Afterschool Alliance Literacy
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JUN
3

FUNDING
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Guest blog: Summer food participation grows across the nation

By Alexis Steines

This guest blog was co-written by Signe Anderson and Kate Sims. Anderson is a Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst and Sims is a Child Nutrition Policy Analyst, both with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

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learn more about: Evaluations Federal Policy Guest Blog Nutrition Summer Learning Community Partners
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APR
21

FUNDING
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Time is running out to serve meals this summer

By Erik Peterson

Warm weather has returned and that means the kick-off of the Summer Food Service Program is just around the corner. This federally-funded program allows summer learning providers to serve free meals to eligible children when school is out for the summer.

Although many children qualify for this program, very few participate.

During fiscal year 2013, the National School Lunch Program provided an average of 21.5 million children a free or reduced-priced lunch each school day. When schools let out for summer, less than 10 percent of those students participate in the Summer Food Service Program.

Luckily for families who are struggling, the Summer Food Service Program is working with school districts, nonprofits and cities this summer to keep school cafeterias open and having community centers provide a site where children can get a delicious free meal.

The Summer Food Service Program also helps to draw children into safe and fun activities filled with learning opportunities. The program encourages communities to provide safe places for children to be with other children and supportive adults. Children benefit nutritionally by receiving complete, wholesome meals. Parents benefit from some help in stretching their food dollars and by knowing their children are engaged in supervised activities.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Nutrition Summer Learning Sustainability
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APR
9

FUNDING
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Guest Blog: Take 25 for your afterschool programs

By Alexis Steines

Jenna-Lyn Ryckebusch, MA currently serves as the Senior Programs Coordinator at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, NCMEC. Ms. Ryckebusch has her master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and received a Bachelor of Science from Ursinus College in Psychology and Spanish. She is a proud Mentor through Big Brothers and Big Sisters and a member of the FBI Citizen’s Academy.

 

I recently exhibited at the National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention and was excited to meet many of you and hear about the needs of your afterschool organizations. I spoke to several attendees seeking innovative educational tools that can easily be implemented into youth programs. At the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), we understand how important it is to have access to free resources that help educate children and keep them safe. 

What NCMEC can offer you

Keeping children safe is an important role and one with which you are very familiar. As a caretaker for children of all ages, you are the perfect representatives to bring safety resources to your community.  This is why you should join NCMEC in a grassroots campaign, Take 25.

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learn more about: Guest Blog Youth Development Community Partners
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